Bo Pelini counting on transfer Randy Gregory to help boost 'D'

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One of the biggest storylines in the Big Ten during fall camps will be whether Nebraska's defense can show any noticeable improvement.

The Huskers were gashed repeatedly on the ground last season and allowed almost 28 points per game. Coaches especially are looking to build depth on a line that lost three starters.

Defensive end Randy Gregory, a junior college transfer, arrived in late July amid a ton of hype that he could become a pass-rush force; he was a consensus top-10 national JC recruit but wasn't cleared academically until mid-July. Coach Bo Pelini has been encouraged by what he has seen of Gregory in the past two weeks.

"He's obviously swimming in it mentally, but he can play," Pelini told reporters. "I think he showed up in shape. He hasn't struggled at all as far as conditioning is concerned."

Gregory (6-feet-6, 255 pounds) is an Indiana native who originally committed to Purdue out of high school but had academic concerns. He had nine sacks in 2011 at Arizona Western CC but missed all but one game last season with a broken leg. He was a good high school basketball player, and his athleticism and quickness are reasons he is expected to be able to provide a pass rush.

If healthy, he gives Huskers coaches some options on passing downs, including the use of three ends. Senior DE Jason Ankrah is the lone returning starter on the line, and coaches also are high on redshirt freshman DE Avery Moss.

"His attitude's been great," Pelini said of Gregory. "That's all you can ask."

Follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin

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